Growing up, I remember my mother used to push back her cuticles whenever she washed the dishes in the kitchen sink. At the time, she stated that the best time to push back the cuticle was when your hands were really wet. As it turns out, that advice is still valid today.
The cuticle protects both the base of the nail and your finger. When cuticles are not properly cared for, they become dry, cracked and easily torn or cut, causing them to bleed. In short, your cuticles can become a mess.
The basics of cuticle care haven’t really changed over the ages. While we may have new discoveries for anti-wrinkle agents or hair regrowth products, the lonely and forgotten cuticle remains one of the simplest and quickest areas to care for. The steps are simple, uncomplicated and don’t require any special potions or visits to a spa.
Cuticle Rule One: Don’t push back your cuticles when they are dry. This will damage them, crack them or possibly cause some minor bleeding. The best time to treat your cuticles is when they are very wet as this softens the tissue, making it easier to manipulate. Then, as they dry, the cuticle will stay in the place you put it.
Cuticle Rule Two: Stay away from sharp metal objects. Believe it or not, you don’t have to trim your cuticles. In fact, you shouldn’t. Using small scissors, files or other metal tools will damage the cuticle and leave you at risk to infections. Besides, you don’t need to cut them, you just need to push them back and exfoliate them a bit.
Cuticle Rule Three: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Did I mention moisturize? For deep and nourishing hydration, try some essential oils on your nails and cuticles to leave on overnight. Olive oil is great, but any hydrating oil will do the trick. As for the rest of the time, apply hand lotion to your cuticles at least once a day to keep them supple. The brand doesn’t even matter, because your cuticles aren’t fussy and are rarely sensitive. Whatever you have on hand will do, wrinkle cream, hand lotion, baby lotion, even a little hair conditioner if you’re in a pinch. Really, anything will do.
That’s it. Three golden rules for cuticle care that have not changed in centuries. Strong and healthy cuticles make your nails look longer, healthier and prettier, so by all means, soak them, push them and lotion them every day.
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